Wherever Batman goes, you can guarantee that the Joker won’t be too far behind, and every big screen franchise that’s featured Bruce Wayne in some fashion has also involved his archenemy. True, Val Kilmer and George Clooney may not have had the pleasure of meeting the Clown Prince of Crime, but Batman Forever and Batman & Robin still took place in the same continuity as Tim Burton’s 1989 classic.
Heath Ledger, meanwhile, won an Oscar for his ferocious and instantly iconic performance in The Dark Knight, and Ben Affleck and Jared Leto will likely be squaring off in Zack Snyder’s Justice League after their interactions in the DCEU so far have been limited to a brief scene in Suicide Squad. Even Todd Phillips’ Joker saw Joaquin Phoenix’s Arthur Fleck come face to face with a young Master Wayne, so it seems inevitable at this point that Matt Reeves will eventually incorporate the Clown Prince of Crime into the mythology built out from The Batman.
Of course, the villain has already been rumored for the sequels, but we’ve now heard from our sources – the same ones that told us Ben Affleck would be back as the Caped Crusader in The Flash weeks before it was confirmed – that instead of simply referencing the killer clown similar to how Christopher Nolan put a deliberate stinger at the end of Batman Begins, we’ll actually see the Joker lurking in the shadows.
According to our intel, the plan was to originally just name-drop him, but now we’ll actually get to lay eyes on the character in the flesh. However, this comes with the caveat that we won’t get a good look at his face, meaning that Reeves doesn’t have to commit to casting an actor in the role until further down the line.
Plans can always change again given how far out the film still is, but we’re told that this is the director’s intention for now and seeing as The Batman is already shaping up to be a solid reinvention for the Caped Crusader, at this stage, it would be more surprising if the Joker wasn’t at least teased in the movie.